Major Requirements 2024-2025

**A PDF Checklist of the psychology major's requirements is located at bottom of this page.**

 Major Program. 

The Psychology major is designed to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the content of the discipline and the skills required to work within it.  Psychology majors are required to elect nine full courses, including Psychology 100 (Introduction), Psychology 122 (Statistics), and either Psychology 200 (Research Methods) or a lab class in psychology (as described below). None of these nine courses may be taken Pass/Fail. Psychology majors must complete both Psychology 100 and Psychology 122 (or place out of these classes, as described below) by the end of the sophomore year and must also complete Psychology 200 or a lab class in psychology by the end of junior year. Students may not place out of taking Psych 100 by taking AP Psych. Students may not enroll in PSYC 122 if they completed STAT 111 or 135, ECON 360, or a statistics course at another college or university.

To provide skills for understanding and conducting research in psychology, students must complete either a research methods class (PSYC 200) or a lab class in psychology. Lab course options include:

PSYC 204: Emotion, PSYC 205: Sex Differences in Psychology, PSYC 206: Psychology of Play, PSYC 208: Creativity

To provide a thorough understanding of fundamental areas within psychology, students must choose at least one intermediate course from each of the three areas below:

Area 1:  Cognitive Neuroscience (PSYC 211), Behavioral Neuroscience (PSYC 212), Neuroscience: Systems and Behavior (PSYC 213) Area 2:  Developmental Psychology (PSYC 227), Cognitive Psychology (PSYC 233), Area 3:  Social Psychology (PSYC 220), Personality (PSYC 221), Clinical Psychology (PSYC 228)

To provide vertical depth in the major, students must also choose one seminar from at least TWO of the following six areas. Writing a thesis counts toward the seminar requirement in the area of the thesis, such that students who write a thesis need to only take one seminar in a different area than their thesis.

Area 1:  Biological: Appetite (PSYC 317), Psychopharmacology (PSYC 325), Consciousness (PSYC 361), Human Neuroscience (PSYC 367) Area 2:  Stress (PSYC 342), Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology (PSYC 364),  Psychotherapy: Theory and Practice (PSYC 369) Area 3:  Cognitive: Music Cognition (PSYC 366), Autobiographical Memory (PSYC 368) Area 4:  Personality: Personality and Political Leadership (PSYC 338), Understanding Individuals (PSYC 353) Area 5:  Social: Psychology of Diversity (PSYC 321), Close Relationships (PSYC 354), Psychology and the Law (PSYC 363) Area 6: Developmental:  Risk and Resilience (PSYC 323), Childhood and Adolescence (PSYC 331), Development of Nonverbal Communication (PSYC 362).

Students may complete the required number of courses by taking additional distribution courses, lab classes, seminars, and/or by taking any of the following electives: Intergroup Dialogue on Race (PSYC 224), Sport Psychology (PSYC 235), Health Psychology (PSYC 247). Special Topics classes (PSYC 490) and thesis work (PSYC 498/499D) also count as elective courses towards the major. Students who write a thesis get three course credits. 

Departmental Honors Research.  A limited number of majors will engage in honors research under the direction of a faculty member during their senior year.   Honors research involves credit for three courses (usually one-course credit during the fall and two credits during the spring semester) and culminates in a thesis.  These three courses count towards the nine classes required for the major.  The thesis usually involves both a review of the previous literature pertinent to the selected area of inquiry and a report of the methods and results of a study designed and conducted by the student.  Any student interested in pursuing honors research in psychology should discuss possible topics with appropriate faculty before preregistration in the second semester of the junior year.


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